Just over a week ago, I decided to roast a turkey. In traditional Mike D over exuberance, I refused to settle for a normal recipe and instead tried a deconstructed turkey. The problem with conventionally roasted turkeys is that you have to time the cooking to the thickest part of the bird; this results in the white meat being drier than it needs to be. By deboning the beast and homogenizing the width, you can better time the cooking so it comes out perfect! That’s the theory anyway.
Result: Complete failure. I did everything wrong.
And thus I begin my training. Since I floundered with the Turkey, I needed to start small. I picked up a chicken last weekend and got to work.
Watch the first 2m30s of that video to be wowed by Jacque Pepin. He debones a Chicken in about 40 seconds. For those of you who are interested, watch the rest – they do a turkey as well as all sorts of other impressive dishes.
What Jacque did in 40 seconds, easily took me 30 minutes. It was slow and painstaking. I had a hard time finding the joints and Jacque moves soooo quickly that I found myself rewinding again and again and again. I could blame my less than sharp knives, but I’m fairly certain it would have taken me just as long with a lightsaber.
Once deboned, I spread out the meat into a mostly uniform layer
Jen and I then added a pad of sausage stuffing (onions, sausage, pork, bread crumbs, egg, and seasonings)
I then rolled it up, and tied it up with twine. I was a little worried because mine didn’t look as snazzy as Jacque’s. It turns out climbing knots do not help for roasting.
Despite my weak-sauce rope-work, the chicken came out great!
With the stuffing:
Overall this was an extremely rewarding experience. I’m going to try doing one chicken every two weeks like this until I can complete the deboning in less than a minute. Then I’ll upgrade to a turkey and ultimately try it with my sword for a new kung fu party trick.